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Former U.S. diplomat Chas Freeman discussing the Israel-Hamas warDialogue Works/YouTube

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(LifeSiteNews) — Former U.S. diplomat Chas Freeman has described the Israel lobby as the “principal enemy” of the First Amendment as the Antisemitism Awareness Act was passed in Congress. 

The bill, whose redefinition of “antisemitism” could include the Gospels, is seen by Freeman as another attempt to silence criticism of Israel’s “genocide.” 

In a remark which probably qualifies as “antisemitic” under the forthcoming expansion of the legal definition, Freeman said the Israel lobby was the number one enemy of American freedom of speech. 

“The principal enemies of the First Amendment in recent years have been… the Israel lobby,” he said in a May 4 Dialogue Works interview, further explaining, “Basically, they have tried to prohibit any speech opposed to the state of Israel.” 

Anti-Zionism is not antisemitism 

Freeman says the redefinition of “antisemitism” conflates opposition to the mass killing and starvation of civilians with an irrational hatred of Jews.  

“Anti-Semitism is not the same as anti-Zionism and people who object to genocide or the conduct of that by a foreign government cannot be called antisemitic.” 

Israel lobby’s power

Freeman claimed in 2009 that he was removed from a national security position under then-President Barack Obama due to the power of what he called the “Likud lobby,” after the name of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s party. 

According to reports at the time, the former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia told CNN that pro-Israeli organizations had “a hammer lock on both public discussion and policy,” and that their campaign to force his withdrawal as the chair of Obama’s national intelligence council had been intended to “reinforce the taboo against any critical discussion of Israeli policies.”  

He said in his statement, published in the Wall Street Journal on March 10, 2009 that,“The tactics of the Israel Lobby plumb the depths of dishonor and indecency and include character assassination, selective misquotation, the willful distortion of the record, the fabrication of falsehoods, and an utter disregard for the truth.”

Freeman was mocked as a “crackpot” for his claim that “The aim of this Lobby is control of the policy process through the exercise of a veto over the appointment of people who dispute the wisdom of its views, the substitution of political correctness for analysis, and the exclusion of any and all options for decision by Americans and our government other than those that it favors.”  

His remarks match the analysis of retired Colonel Douglas Macgregor, who asserted that the U.S. “political class is bought and paid for” by the Israel lobby. Left-wing Jewish independent journalist Max Blumenthal, whose father Sidney worked for both Bill and Hillary Clinton, also says, “The Israel lobby is the enemy of the American people. We are under political occupation now.” 

Freeman’s long-standing warning about the power of the Israel lobby is no partisan issue. It is one which determines the freedom of the American people themselves, according to commentators from across the political spectrum.  

A consistent policy

Freeman says in his recent interview that the claim by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken that the U.S. had been consistent on Israel was right, but for the wrong reason. 

“Mr Blinken has just said that our policy has been consistent. He’s absolutely correct – but not in the way that he wants to be.”  

“It’s absolutely consistent in the sense that we have enabled and continue to enable genocide.” 

With the speech-restricting bill moving into the Senate for approval before becoming law, Freeman reframed the student protests whose alleged “antisemitic” nature were cited as a justification for the new legislation. 

Students protesting worldwide 

“We have demonstrations… protests by students throughout the country – and now spreading throughout the world,” Freeman said, referencing protests across Europe. In Germany, one third of protesters who have been “canceled” for their opposition to Israel’s actions were found to be Jewish. 

“These students are not motivated by anything but genuine moral indignation,” Freeman explained. “They’re not trying to avoid being drafted as in the Vietnam War. They are attempting to persuade our country to cease aiding and assisting in the most horrible crime that international law can find which is genocide.” 

He says that this situation is a “particular instance” of “a crisis in the United States more generally,” due to the collapse of public trust in the government.  

“The political elite has lost the confidence of much of the public and certainly the confidence of young people. The society is very polarized.” 

What is the nature of this polarization? It is nothing to do with the attempt to frame outrage at Israeli action as a left/right dimension of the “culture wars.”

It is a polarization which reaches into the White House itself, with staffers reporting a “culture of silence” over the Biden administration’s support for the actions of Israel.  

One staffer was reported in October as saying, “It feels like post-9/11 where you feel like your thoughts are being policed, and you’re really afraid of being seen as anti-American or an antisemite.” 

Though the Biden administration had promised “listening sessions,” staffers were skeptical of any real change, with the center of government described by a staffer as being dominated by a single faction. 

‘Inner circle on these issues is not at all diverse’

The consensus among White House staff was that nothing would alter America’s long-standing sponsorship of the Zionist state of Israel. 

“The staffers expressed doubt that the session will lead to the Biden administration rethinking its backing of Israel, where the U.S. has sent $260 billion in military and economic aid since World War II.”

That is an astounding total, over a quarter of a $trillion, that has been sent from US taxpayer money to the tiny, wealthy, apartheid nation state to wage war against the native populations of the region.

Pro-Israel propaganda ‘utterly false’ 

According to Freeman, a similar division is now present in the American population. On the statements of Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson, who “was talking with students and repeating the same propaganda [of] the the Biden administration,” Freeman said, “Mr. Johnson can make those statements because there are a large number of Americans who see the world through the eyes of Israeli propaganda.” 

“But there are now at least an equal number of people or perhaps more who regard that propaganda as utterly false and without merit.” 

Freeman said American students and their parents have a right, “as a taxpayer,” to say, “’I’m not paying for… policies that contribute to evil purposes’ – and that is exactly what is happening.”

Israel is committing national suicide  

Freeman contends that U.S. support for Israel is simply enabling its self-destruction. According to him, the U.S.-backed actions of Israel have destroyed its international standing. Speaking of the faction ruling Israel and its backers, he said, “I think Mr Netanyahu, this group of people are committing national suicide.” 

“Without the support of the world including… the large number of Jews in North America and elsewhere, Israel can’t survive.”  

He noted the crisis within Israel, often overlooked in Western media, but frequently discussed in the Israeli press, “I think Israel is beginning to fall apart. Its economy is in tatters. Its society is divided. Its government is unprecedentedly unpopular. Its actions alienate the entire world.”

“It is becoming a true international pariah,” he added. 

Freeman was speaking ahead of the Rafah offensive, which has now begun. He said that this was not only part of Netanyahu’s “intention to depopulate Gaza,” but would be a “step too far” in terms of international outrage. 

“[Netanyahu’s] intention is to depopulate Gaza and he will do that however he can. Whether by driving Palestinians out of Gaza by starving them to death or by bombing and shooting them – he doesn’t care,” Freeman asserted. 

Freeman’s prediction that Netanyahu would proceed with this invasion was correct, with the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) going into Rafah the day after his broadcast. 

“Yes, I think he will do the invasion of Rafah and I think that will be a step too far in terms of international opinion. It will be the straw that broke the camel’s back.” 

Netanyahu a ‘political prisoner’

Freeman notes that Netanyahu “has spent his entire career trying to prevent Palestinian self-determination – that is his purpose now.” 

The political pressure on Netanyahu, coupled with the certainty of prosecution on leaving office, means he is “a political prisoner,” according to Freeman. 

“The extremists who populate the cabinet would throw him out” if Netanyahu tried to de-escalate the war. Freeman went on to mention the well-documented charges of fraud faced by the Israeli leader. 

“… and if he’s thrown out, he will spend some time in jail for corruption.” 

Added to this, the Israeli government is now facing the threat of prosecution for war crimes. 

“I should note he and others including the extremists who have him [as] a political prisoner are now on the verge of being indicted as war criminals by the international criminal court.”   

Calling the world ‘antisemitic’ 

Freeman described Netanyahu’s response to the moves by the International Criminal Court (ICC) as “an unbelievable statement,” in which the Israeli prime minister branded the court as “antisemitic,” describing “Israelis being victims.”  

“The fact is that if you criticize a country that is committing genocide, and you call that antisemitism, then everybody in the world is anti-Semitic,” Freeman commented.

Freeman stressed that this bizarre tactic is itself most likely to drive antisemitism. 

“To be anti-Zionist now is a global majority opinion that does not imply antisemitism. The only thing that can produce antisemitism is the reflexive, unanimous, unreasoned support of some Jews around the world for the state of Israel and what it is doing.”  

Is Freeman himself antisemitic? He emphasizes,

“Most Jews, around the world, I think, do not want to be associated with what Israel is doing… not only because that would lead to antisemitism and have a consequence for them, but because they are normal people with a conscience.”

He closes with a very provocative analysis of those behind the genocide in Gaza, and a strategy of escalation which threatens a potential world war. 

“I think they are Zionists not Jews,” Freeman said, stressing the distinction. 

“I think they are idolators like the worshippers of the golden calf – not people with an unseen God.”

He adds that Israel,

“… is in danger of being accused of the very things that Jews fled to avoid, namely genocide, mass murder and this sort of thing and this is not a pretty picture, and as someone who has always hoped that Israel would live up to the original ideals that its founders proclaimed, this is a matter of great distress to me as it is to many other people.”

Freeman warns that if the devastation in Gaza continues,

“Israel is not going to be welcome in any context, and I think Israelis are going to find that when they announce they are Israelis, people are going to look at them as though they were Nazis. This six-pointed Star of David, a symbol of Jewish renewal in a state of Israel, is now looked on by much of the world the same way as Europeans look at the swastika. It’s a symbol of genocide. That is not anything anybody should celebrate.”

Freeman’s analysis is based on what the world is seeing, but what Congress and the U.S. government will not.  His argument is that propaganda without merit cannot contain the truth, and its use will only deepen a domestic and international crisis. How long can the political culture of silencing survive?

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